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It was no surprise this evening when the Patterson Town Board agreed unanimously to act as a sponsor for Paul Camarda's (now) successful attempt at pulling $1.5 million in corporate welfare dollars from a bankrupt state.
It wasn't even a surprise that they had somehow convinced themselves that the intersection of I84 and Route 311 was so dangerous that Hamas terrorists are too afraid to drive there. But what was a surprise was that they really made themselves believe that we would also believe their fantasy.
The board insisted that
a) The money was going to be spent anyway so why not spend it here and,
b) That the dangers of this intersection were so severe they did not want to be responsible if someone got killed.
c) They've all sat there for ten minutes in traffic and that was wrong. Just plain wrong!
I reminded the board that the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for Patterson Crossing stated quite clearly that this intersection was not any more dangerous than any other in the area and that work proposed would not have to be done if Patterson Crossing were not built. And that if the board felt it was that important that they go through regular state channels and get the program on the DOT billet. Councilman Burns took specific and rather strong exception to that suggestion.
I mentioned that the Republicans ran an 18 month nationwide campaign on a "lower taxes, smaller government, no bailouts" platform and yet, here was a Republican board undoing the very tenets their party ran an election on and giving the lie to the platform. I'm surprised it was this fast!
Joan Castiner told the Patterson Town Board that their concern for this particular intersection was "late in coming" and wanted to know what made this so dangerous all on a sudden?
After Joan was Lynne Eckardt who asked the board if they '...would say this was the most dangerous intersection in Patterson,' to which they said, "owjhkls vnjkgo004mv jlkjglk," in reply.
Next up was Pat Floger who mentioned that the intersections of Route 164 and 22 and 164 and 311 were more dangerous and that maybe those monies should be better spent there, if money had to be spent at all.
But the board was adamant that the danger presented by sitting in traffic at rush hour was so threatening to life and limb that the only solution was a $1.5 million publicly funded handout to a wealthy developer who had promised to pay for these projects out of his own pocket.
By the way, Mike Griffin mentioned that if I wanted to care about tax dollars I should go after the MS4 stormwater costs and that "organizations I belong to and are associated with" filed an article 78 to make the MS4 regs even tougher.
Mr. Griffin was simply grandstanding and deflecting and pulling facts out of his ass because the reality is that I don't belong to, nor am I a member of any of those organizations and I had to remind him of that. But what did any of that have to do with corporate welfare? Well, you know the old saying, when you've run out of ideas, change the subject. This is not the kind of behavior one would expect for someone rumored to be on the short list to be the next deputy county executive (along with Kenny Schmitt). Or maybe it is. Griffin, retiring after this term due to an alleged scandal with a secretary last year, would make the perfect bulldog for Vinnie Leibell.
The Patterson town board should be ashamed if itself but they're not. They've pulled a fast one and put a nail in the coffin of an 18 month long national Republican party campaign. I am sure we'll see many more examples of the same as the months progress.
Tax and spend Republicans. Boy oh boy!
As an aside, what does Robert Buckley, Nick Spano and possibly even Perry Ochacher have to do with any of this? Anything? Anyone?
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